T.V. Ramachandra and Ganesh Hegde

Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Center for Ecological Sciences [CES],
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, 560 012, India
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Corresponding Author: T.V. Ramachandra


Electricity is essential for economic and social development of a region. Dependence on the fossil fuel resources for electricity generation is eroding the resources at faster rate apart from large scale pollution of land, water and air environment. Electric energy generation from renewable energy resources (wind and solar) plays a pivotal role in the region’s development, while combating global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The current communication explores the potential of available renewable energy resources in Western Ghats with undulating terrains and relatively good vegetation cover. Most taluks in the Western Ghats region with solar insolation >5 kWh/m2 and hilly terrain experiencing wind >3 m/s are most suited to decentralized electricity interventions, which would ensure livelihood prospects through availability of electricity throughout the year. Sufficient land is available as the estimate indicate about 1-2% of current wasteland is adequate to deploy decentralized electricity generation for meeting the current electricity demand. High wind power density can meet peak power deficiency in the states of WG region. Seasonal variability analysis of solar insolation and wind speeds across taluks gives the insight to generation scheduling and optimum grid operation. Decentralised energy generation using available wind and solar energy resources can meet the regional demand by reducing the transmission losses and stress on central grid.

The government support and encouragement for decentralized rooftop generation using solar PV would significantly contribute to meet the present and future electricity demand of the region. A generation based incentive (GBI) would encourage decentralized electricity generation at individual rooftops. Some of the other initiatives to be taken are 1) solar public and road lighting, 2) RE based generation in government organizations and infrastructure, 3) implementation of solar rooftop generation in existing govt. building and financial encourage for the same. Switching over to RE technologies would also help in bringing down GHG emission and pressure on dwindling stock of fossil fuels.

KEYWORDS: Insolation, land use, wasteland, thermal and photovoltaic, photoelectric effect, semiconductor device.


Citation: Ramachandra T.V. and Ganesh Hegde, Decentralized Renewable Energy options for wetern ghats, MGIRED Journal, volume 1(1): 24-43, ISSN 2393-9605.
* Corresponding Author :
  Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : 91-80-23600985 / 22932506 / 22933099,      Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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